Ferrari replace race engineer Chris Dyer

2011 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Ferrari has confirmed Pat Fry will take over Chris Dyer’s role as head of race engineering in 2011.

Dyer faced criticism following the strategic error at Abu Dhabi which likely cost Fernando Alonso the 2010 drivers’ championship.

The team have not announced what Dyer’s new role will be. Fry joined the team from McLaren in June last year.

Ferrari also announced Neil Martin has joined the team from Red Bull ahead of the 2011 season.

Martin was head of strategic operations at Red Bull and also previously worked for McLaren.
Ferrari issued the following statement:

It had been hinted at prior to Christmas when, speaking to Italian and international journalists during seasonal festivities, Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali talked of not taking any drastic action, but rather making changes aimed at improving the efficiency of the team in its work, both at the track and the factory. Today came the facts.

Joining the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is the respected engineer, Neil Martin, who takes on the role of heading up the new Operations Research department. A 38 year old Englishman, Martin previously worked for Red Bull and prior to that McLaren and he will now report directly to Technical Director, Aldo Costa.

At the same time, Costa’s deputy, Pat Fry will, in addition to his current role, take on the job of head of race track engineering. Up until yesterday, this position was held by Chris Dyer and his role within the company will be redefined in the next few days.

Image © Ferrari spa

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102 comments on Ferrari replace race engineer Chris Dyer

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th January 2011, 23:26

    Well, here’s the fifty-million dollar question: will this actually change anything, or is it a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in Abu Dhabi?

  2. chichipong said on 4th January 2011, 23:32

    They chouldn’t have moved chris. Now they’re putting a green, fresh man in a red chair. After the disasterous strategy call, whats the probability of Dyer making the same mistake again? Ferrari are removing a guy who’s learnt his lesson and putting in a new guy to fall into the same hole.

    I think they should have just taken neil martin and be done with it, not move anyone around. Now there’ll be uncertainty on the pit wall and even if the car is good, it’ll take them a while to get a win i’d reckon.

  3. GeordiePorker said on 4th January 2011, 23:33

    @bwells88 – if everyone always stays on topic the conversation is far less interesting.

    However, it’s quite a statement to suggest that Alonso tried to get Dyer sacked. Nevertheless, if Alonso had made one less mistake in the season, he would have won the WDC, so for Dyer to wear it seems somewhat daft. Everyone, from Driver through to Designers got something wrong in the season, so I ay again, this decision seems daft (and I add short-sighted).

    Regardless of that sensible debate, it’s always fun having a pop at Alonso, especially after a season in which he whined that he was incapable of passing his teammate, resulting in one of the most shambolic episodes F1 fans have had to endure recently (Hockenheim btw – for the Alonso fans, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a legitimate overtake ;-) ), and a season in which he failed to overtake a Renault and then had the audacity to gesture at him following the race (and yes, I know he apologised afterwards, but I cannot imagine another driver doing the same thing).

    • bwells88 (@bwells88) said on 5th January 2011, 2:40

      I agree that a blog should remain interesting but sometimes people just spout off with no info… I mentioned the AlonsoDyer thing in response to Micheal Griffin’s comment…

      “This decision from Ferrari, IMO, shows a lack of unity within the team, and hints that Alonso or others may have pointed the finger in Dyer’s direction.”

      In no way do I think he had anything to do with it… or that the pass in Germany legit… but it’s more of what people call wrong with F1… if you’re not ahead by 1.5 seconds you can’t get by without a mistake..
      but that’s F1 to me and…. it is what it is… 8)

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th January 2011, 0:02

    The team have not announced what Dyer’s new role will be.

    Translation: they hold Dyer responsible, but they think he’s too talented to let some other team scoop him up because he knows the Ferrari playbook.

  5. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 5th January 2011, 0:06

    Is this the same Chris Dyer who’s just started in the post room?

  6. judo chop (@judo-chop) said on 5th January 2011, 1:28

    For all their supposed aggrievement over the “spy scandal” Ferrari seem very keen on poaching McLaren staff.

    • Hitman Contract said on 5th January 2011, 1:34

      Nothing good can ever come from mcl

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 5th January 2011, 1:54

      To be fair, I only know of 2 guys they got from McL – Fry and Tombazis. And even then, Tombazis was first at Ferrari, then McLaren lured him over, then Ferrari lured him back.

      Such are the ways of the F1 paddock – even personnel changes are most intriguing.

  7. qazuhb (@qazuhb) said on 5th January 2011, 1:30

    History teaches that sometimes it’s better to keep defeated leaders in charge, so they can capitalize on their errors and avoid stumbling twice against the same stone.
    General Võ Nguyên Giáp, the North Vietnamese strategist that won both the Indochina War against the French and the Vietnam War against the Republic of South Vietnam and her American and other Western allies, suffered three disastrous setbacks when he tried to go into the third phase of Mao’s warfare doctrine, namely that of engaging the enemy in conventional battle.
    He lost roughly half of his élite forces in the Battles of Vinh Yen, Mao Khe, and the Day River. His Việt Minh forces fell victim to the first extensive use of the deadly napalm by the French forces under General De Lattre.
    However, North Vietnamese supreme leader Hồ Chí Minh decided that it was better to let Giáp capitalize on his defeats, and that ultimately led to the decisive battle of Điện Biên Phù that ended the war. Later, during the Vietnam War, his experience allowed him to assess that an open battle against the powerful American forces was doomed to defeat, so he mounted a big feint against the fortified base at Khe Sanh with the purpose of diverting a huge amount of allied forces to defend it, so his main Tet Offensive could met a weaker opposition.

  8. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 5th January 2011, 1:51

    It’s Luca Baldiserri all over again. Wasn’t he the guy who had to move over for Chris Dyer?

    In any case, Dyer can choose to stay or leave with Ferrari. The guy’s won 3 titles as race engineer (2 with Schumi, 1 with Kimi), and I’m sure many teams would be interested in his services if they were available.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 5th January 2011, 2:06

    If Chris can then try to move to Mercedes as he has been Schumi’s race engineering for all his 5 WC & he won’t have trouble working with Brawn & Schumacher.

  10. Grace said on 5th January 2011, 3:37

    I totally disagree. Chris Dyer is a good engineer and that doesn’t mean he should be sacked. Aldo costa got his head struck in the F60 design

    What you said is not right. Chris is an amazing engineer. Besides, it is WRONG to favour one engineer over another. You make it sound like you agree with it. The rules are there for a reason, it is a team game not a con. or did they bet money on dyer getting sacked and have millions now, as the gangs and mob did once in boxing etc.

    It is against the rules to ask a engineer to quit. I feel so sorry for dyer. he is better than fry for sure Of course statistics will say he is intellectual, wouldnt you give up and think whats the point?
    We know Red Bull and our British guys would NEVER let sack good guys, hence the times we’ve won.
    Dyer was clearly bullied into into resigning. In my job bullying is a discipliniary offence

  11. Slackbladder said on 5th January 2011, 4:22

    Ah the sacrifical goat is killed…

  12. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 5th January 2011, 8:46

    An interesting tidbit from Adam Cooper:

    “The Ferrari website says that Dyer’s “role within the company will be redefined in the next few days.” History suggests that he will be given a non-travelling factory job, something that may actually suit him as he has a young family.”

  13. RBAlonso said on 5th January 2011, 14:08

    I think we may be analysing that moment in Abu Dhabi a bit too much here. He is being moved because he has never really suited this role and Pat Fry does. It was always on the cards as soon as Fry was hired, Ferrari clearly chose to delay the move until the off-season. Completely logical. I hope he stays at Ferrari and has success there. Best of luck to both of them.

  14. HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th September 2011, 15:13

    An awful lot of talk about Ferrari just being Ferrari. Without a Michael Schumacher to build a team around a Ross Brawn, Ferrari reverts to its normal chaotic blame game politics. The acronym “snafu” could have been invented for Ferrari F1.

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